Facebook, Google, eBay, HP, Dell and other Silicon Valley companies weighed in on the ongoing Samsung and Apple patent case, siding with the Korean company in a “friend of the court” briefing filed on July 1 to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and first spotted by Inside Sources [PDF via AppleInsider]. The companies argue that the court ordering Samsung to turn over profits would lead to stifled innovation.
If allowed to stand, that decision will lead to absurd results and have a devastating impact on companies, including [the briefing draftees], who spend billions of dollars annually on research and development for complex technologies and their components.
The companies contend that technology like smartphones, which include thousands of different components in both hardware and software, is too complex to award profits, like Samsung is being ordered to do, based on individual component infringements. They argue that any company could then be opened up to patent infringement cases for insignificant features like a specific user interface creation that only appears on a single screen of an app, therefore stifling innovation.
After the companies submitted their thoughts to the court, Apple responded by arguing their thoughts should be dismissed. The Cupertino company specifically called out Google, pointing out that the company has a strong interest in the case because its behind the Android operating system used by Samsung and that the Mountain View company cannot be an impartial “friend of the court”.
In mid-June, Samsung asked the court to reconsider a central part of a recent ruling that ensured Apple would receive $548 million in damages, with Samsung wanting the court to rehear the case with a full 12-judge roster rather than the 3-judge panel it used in the previous ruling. That previous ruling reduced Apple’s reward from $900 billion to $548 million.